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The Man Who Watched the World End

(The Great De-evolution)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,006 ratings  ·  207 reviews
The end of man was not signaled by marauding gangs or explosions, but with silence. People simply grew older knowing a younger generation would not be there to replace them. The final two residents in the neighborhood of Camelot, an old man and his invalid brother, are trapped in their house by forests full of cats and dogs battling with the bears and wolves to eat anythin ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published April 15th 2013 by Watch The World End Publications (first published April 12th 2013)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  1,006 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely enthralling
I just couldn't put this book down, the whole book is wonderfully written, a departure from the explosions and genocide usually portrayed in the dystopian genre, similar to the road by Cormac McCarthy I think it captures that extreme sense of despair but also resignation to ones fate. The main themes also really spoke to me as my parents have always stressed to me the importance of family and how life is finite. We live in a world finely balanced, where countries constantly
(This review was originally posted at TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog. Thanks muchly to Lori for providing me both the digital version of this book and the opportunity to be among her guest reviewers.)

If you're looking for a breezy, feel-good tale, The Man Who Watched the World End is probably not for you, nor will it be your kind of novel if you prefer endings that are neatly packaged with bright, optimistic bows that herald the joys awaiting a story's characters beyond the last page; however,
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Chris Dietzel

One man’s thoughts as remains in his home secluded from the rest of the world except for his brother. Living in a healthy body but not able to express his thoughts, run, laugh, move or ever speak one man would become his caregiver and the other his only hope for survival. Two men each caught up in their own private thoughts, world and waiting for their lives to end. One remembering the world before it all comes to a close and the other just sitting
H.M. Ada
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this one overall.

Action fans will definitely not. Literally the only action in the book involves the narrator venturing out of his home to take a walk down the street (now overrun with wild cats, dogs, and bears). But the book isn't really about that, it's about how the world got to this point, and how the main character relates to that and to his brother. The author does an excellent job establishing mood, and when I read this, I really felt what it might be like to hang on in his "wor
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the diary of an aging man, practically alone, facing daily challenges to care for himself as well as his unresponsive brother. His personal struggles include dealing with the emotions of his decisions, of being responsible for another life, and encountering the dangers of wild animals that were once domesticated pets.

The book was billed as "science fiction", but the author presents scenes that appeal to both fans of sci fi as well as people like me, who just want a good story. This boo
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

I've never read a dystopian like The Man Who Watched the World End, one that is set after the post apocalyptic events have occurred and not amidst the action. There are no other living humans in sight, aside from the narrator and his brother, and they are both old men nearing the end of their lives. In his somber, quiet and watchful existence, this man writes journal entries every day about living out the rest of his life.

Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I first read The Hauntings of Playing God a few years ago and was struck by how unusual a book it was among post-apocalypse novels. It left a lasting impression, and I recommended it to all and sundry. I'm not sure why I waited so long to read the others in the set, but I'm glad I finally did.

There is no huge catastrophe in Dietzel's books: no drought, no radiation, no rival warring tribes, no government guilty of misprision, no starvation, no battle against the elements. There is only homo sap
This book is guaranteed to get you right down.

It's hard to describe this story without giving away too much.

An old and nameless man tells the story in the form of a daily diary, which spans three months. He takes care of his younger (but still old) comatose brother. The two of them are the last residents of a neighborhood called Camelot. In the course of the diary memories of past times, childhood, parents and former neighbors are disclosed.

All on his own and surrounded by wild animals, the man
Tammy K.
The world is in decay. The narrator is resentful. The narration is first person (journal entry format) and the main character is emotionally stunted, unreliable, highly opinionated, and regularly crude.
Simply, the tone and style of this book made it a hard read for me.

Despite that, the author managed to paint a vivid picture of the setting in my mind, and the writing was artful.

I read this book before, about three years ago. Now I listened to the audio-book. And if they ever make a film out of it, I’m sure I’m going to watch that too. Although I can hardly think of how they’re going to do it. Making a film, I mean. But they did it with The Wall, and it turned out great, so why not here as well.

This is an old man’s journal, in which he describes his life in an abandoned neighborhood. The center of his life is taking care of his brother Andrew, who is only a few years yo
In this novel, the world doesn't end with a big bang or drama, it ends slowly with a whimper. Children start being born with no awareness of the world. they simply exist and need others to take care of them. These "Blocks" as they are known, area totally dependent. So the world ends as the population dies off.

This story is told by journal entries of an old man who is caring for his Block brother in an empty subdivision called Camelot. Where wild animals from the forest are the only other things
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The idea of the book is enthralling, but I thought the execution lacked excitement. The narrative felt very repetitive and the repetition was not caused by the small space the main character occupied, but more by how the author chose to tell the story. In addition, some of the elements of the narrative just weren't plausible in the world end scenario that was being described. ...more
After reading action packed dystopia book after action packed dystopia book after action packed dystopia book after action packed dystopha book (you get the idea), I picked up The Man Who Watched the World End expecting, well - an action packed dystopia book.

And it was not.
And that is actually wonderful.

Here is how I imagined the man who is watching the world end would look:


As it turns out, the man who is watching the world end is A) much, much older and B) not quite so sensitive. Quick summ
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting story. It is very mellow, but very thought provoking.

This story is written as diary entries from an old man, describing how the world's babies began being born completely healthy aside from almost no brain function. Called Blocks, they had to be completely taken care of, and it wasn't long until 100% of babies born were a Block. People began moving to warmer climates, joining communities, and soon most neighborhoods were returned to the wilderness and the animals t
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a very well told story of one's mans activities and thoughts as he deals with his old age in a post-apocalyptic world. After reading a few pages though, I realized that this really could be the story of many old people who live totally isolated from society, struggling to care for a family member whose needs exceed their ability to provide. The threats outside this man's door are gangs of animals, but some old people today have to worry about other gangs--just as vicious. Does it really ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a poignant look back on the end of civilization, and the modern world. No zombies, no horrific apocalypse, just the slow eventual decline and one man's experience throughout. Just the change of pace was wonderful, and the story itself was super. Slow at times, but well worth the read. More Quiet Earth than 28 Days Later. ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k
I have read so many books about the world ending - wars, aliens, crazies with intriguing weaponry, etc. I went with it, after all I knew when I picked the book the world was in trouble. These all remained "stories". Then I read this book.

A growing number of babies were born "without significant brain activity". They did not move, eat, talk, hear, see, respond in any way, they were Blocked. Over several years all births resulted in Blocks. The result of this phenomena was obvious - the last gene
Eliza Green
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was excited to read this story and I quite liked the premise of there (possibly) being only a handful of people left in the world.

The story started out promisingly. An old man and his incapacitated brother are forced to watch the world (as they know it) end. But it doesn’t really end, it is simply reclaimed by the animals. I almost feel as if the title should have been: ‘The man who watched the human world end’, because there is nothing dead about the world surrounding him.

His incapacitated
Zoe's Human
This narrative has a powerhouse premise – a unique and intriguing concept of how life as we know it could end which raises fascinating philosophical questions about what precisely constitutes a life. It is written well and has something to say about the meaning and value of family.

Unfortunately, it falls apart beyond that in three significant ways.

First, it goes nowhere. Whether it manifests in the form of a quest or as character evolution, there should be some significant change by the end of a
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Corinna by: Chris Dietzel
Shelves: i-own, kindle
In a world where Dystopian Fiction is currently very popular, this book, brings an entirely refreshing twist to the topic. Typically, the "world" has been destroyed and is near the end due to some war, nuclear explosion, or something of that nature. In this book, everything falls apart very differently -- the world is bare and empty due to all children being born with a severe lifeless medical condition. I probably enjoyed this book more than the average person because I have two auto-immune dis ...more
Ashley O'neill
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Possibly Spoilers!

I'm not very eloquent so please excuse me, I also do not write many reviews but I have to make the exception for this book.

I read a lot of end of the world books but this one is different no bombs, aliens or government plots just one old man and his 'block' brother.

I enjoyed how nature had taken over animals no longer the friendly pets they used to be but predators even the cute cats! It was also refreshing that no cure was found at the last minute.

It's not the easiest to read
Roderick Vincent
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Contains spoilers!

What happens when the brain doesn’t develop fully at birth? Chris Dietzel explores the concept in his first dystopian novel "The Man Who Watched the World End". The world has been plagued with babies whose brains fail to form properly because of an amino acid deficiency. These babies, known as Blocks, are like paraplegics. Humanity can no longer produce healthy offspring and the Great De-evolution commences. Personally, I loved the Block idea and the interpretation of how the
Courtney Waters
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Man Who Watched the World End is a huge detour from your typical dystopian novels. Instead of nuclear war, DNA munipulation, or zombies, evolution simply backpedels on itself in the case of the human race. The Old Man is forced to watch as society literally dies. While living in town called Camelot, he watches as people slowly ebb and flow through his neighborhood while on the hunt for a more establised community of people. In the end he is left old, defenseless and caring for his invalid br ...more
Oct 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was the dullest end of the world story I've ever read. And the conditions described in the book that allow people to live their lives uninterrupted are ludicrous. The government invented a machine that creates food on demand? And you don't have to put anything into it to get it to work? Magic! And generators that keep the power going, without any fuel to operate them. Ridiculous! And people just decided not to fight with each other anymore, because humans were dwindling en masse, so there w ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was ok

Picked up the sample because the cover caught my eye when I was purchasing some books on Amazon. It is a post-apocalyptic tale that had a few deviations from the norm for the genre. The most important one being the age of the protagonist. The book was well formatted and GSP (grammar, spelling, punctuation) gets an A+.

That is what worked for me, however, I won't be purchasing. The mechanics of the actual tale didn't gel. We are down to the last handful of aged survivors in a world where humans
Greg Tymn
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
The plot was interesting and a novel approach to the end of all things human. The writing was articulate. The scenes easily visualized. As I'm not a young man any more, I may have a little more affinity for the protagonist than others had, however I do agree that the novel probably would have been better if the length was cut down about 25%. Toward the end, I found myself skipping pages and scanning for the meatier sections.

Overall, it was an enjoyably depressing novel. It provides an excellent
Sherri Ann
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I loved the concept but the story literally went nowhere. Many areas it seemed to drone on and on without grabbing the reader. Sadly, that is the way the story ended. I found myself disappointed after turning the last page and seeing the acknowledgement section...thinking, "that's it?" I'm sorry, I really wanted to love this book :( ...more
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopia, catastrophe
This story should have been right up my street; however, despite liking the idea and the concept I found the narrative repetitive. I suppose that is what is likely in a diary entry but I found myself skipping pages looking for the history of the dystopia rather than the current. Nicely written with descriptive prose but left me in the end unfulfilled.
Colette Reilly
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I would give it 4 stars for its depiction of society, loneliness, and family. It was hard to ignore the lack of logic behind the survival.
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was everything i ever wanted in a dystopian book but i can see why some people would not really like it. also i don't usually like ambiguous-y endings but i think it actually worked for this book. ...more
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Pro-Active Destru...: This topic has been closed to new comments. BOTM The Man Who Watched the World End by Chris Dietzel 34 16 Jan 17, 2015 08:44AM  

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Chris graduated from Western Maryland College (McDaniel College). He currently lives in Florida. His dream is to write the same kind of stories that have inspired him over the years.

Sign up for his mailing list to receive updates on future projects and some neat freebies:

In his free time, Chris volunteers for a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program for feral cats.

Other books in the series

The Great De-evolution (7 books)
  • A Different Alchemy (The Great De-evolution)
  • The Hauntings of Playing God  (The Great De-evolution)
  • The Great De-evolution: The Complete Collection
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